•Now that Roy Blunt is a member of the minority party in Congress, will he bug out while he can? The soon-to-be ousted majority whip probably won't succeed in a leadership post with the minority GOP; he's not trusted by his own colleagues, and enough of them already think the current leaders (Blunt, Dennis Hastert) are the reason they've been relegated to the back benches.
So what can Blunt do? Lobbying seems a little farfetched right now. With the GOP in the minority, who needs Republican lobbyists anymore? It's more likely that Blunt will fade into the background, emerging only when the coast is clear and he can run for U.S. Senate.
He won't stay in Congress for long, however. That much is certain. Look for Blunt to make this his last term in the House. After taking a pass at challenging Blunt in the 2006 election, southwest Missouri Democrats may actually get a second bite at the 7th District apple. Their chances are improved if, as expected, Matt Blunt packs it in, decides not to run for another term as governor and makes a bid for Congress (after all, he already lives in Springfield). A Matt Blunt vs. moderate Democrat race for Congress would be competitive.
•If the social conservatives of the GOP don't screw it for him, Rudy Giuliani will be the next Republican candidate for president. This AOL poll shows the former NYC mayor running ahead of John McCain, Condoleezza Rice and dark horse Newt Gingrich for the 2008 GOP nomination.
If the social cons don't screw it. Big if there. Because:
•The war for the guts of the GOP is in full fire. Old-line Republicans (the small government/Low taxes kind) say their party lost Congress because it was too focused on pleasing the theocrats. Social cons, meanwhile, say the party lost power because it wasn't conservative enough on issues like abortion and gay rights (and stem cells, dammit, stem cells).
The social cons despise Giuliani and his pro-choice, gay-rights-loving ways. Ditto for the way they feel about McCain. If they have their way, Jeb Bush will be their standard-bearer. Or Mitt Romney. A Dem can only hope.